I just purchased a Panasonic HC-X1000 but now having second thoughts because I only now learned that the image sensor, being a tiny 1/2.3" sensor, is no better than that in a compact camcorder or gopro 3.

The fact is, I bought this camera to produce for tv. I don't mind that this is not the best camera or the biggest sensor. My real question is, will the video produced by the camera be good enough to be used/licensed by networks (assuming that the content is good enough as well lol).

If not, I think I'll be returning this and going for something like the Panasonic GH4.

  • 1
    Can you provide more information about your intended content and audience? If you're just going to chase ambulances for ENG footage a la Nightcrawler, then any cell phone would do. If you're looking to sell B-roll, they're going to want something that matches their cameras better. Probably, your best bet is to ask them. Commented Apr 7, 2015 at 14:24
  • @JasonConrad The intended content will be primarily documentaries, and possibly reality tv. The camera has a bunch of features that are nice for that (dual recording, backup recording, auto-focus, etc).
    – OMGTV
    Commented Apr 7, 2015 at 14:49

3 Answers 3


Small sensor means two things: increased depth of field (everything is in focus, no soft backgrounds) and more noise in low-light conditions. If either of these are a deal-breaker then consider changing. Here's why maybe you shouldn't:

To get a large sensor camera with the ease of use and ergonomics of this camera you'll be looking at cameras like the Sony FS7 which with lenses is going to be around the $8k mark, maybe close to $10K all up.

Otherwise if you do go down the DSLR route you'll find that simply getting a GH4 probably won't be enough for broadcast work. You'll also need a good on-camera monitor because the built in monitors are way too low res to be able to judge focus critically, probably an external sound recorder, maybe also an external video recorder if you want to record raw or proRes, maybe a follow focus handle, maybe a matte box, and—since you'll have all these extra bits to carry—a rig to put it all on. At this point it will weigh about as much as a family sized refrigerator and look like something from Mad Max. I know, because I've lived it.

You won't have motor zoom, and unless you get a cinema lens (eyewateringly expensive) you'll have to put up with stills lenses: no manual iris control on the lens, focus measurements are very approximate and usually go something like 1ft, 2 ft, infinity, and there's no parfocal zooming—meaning that focus changes as you zoom.

The shorter depth of field also means that you have to really stay on top of your focus. When I first started shooting with DSLRs (5DII) I was going gung-ho with wide open lenses, and discovering that when I looked at the footage in the edit suite that if the subject moved at all they'd go completely soft. It wasn't until I got an external monitor that I could reliably get useable footage from the thing. For documentary shooting, although you can get beautiful results when conditions are right, it really isn't the right camera for run-'n-gun.

If beautiful bokeh is worth it to you, then go DSLR, but if getting the shot is more important then go with something with good ergonomics, that is first and foremost built as a video camera.

  • Thanks for your answer. I think I'll keep the X1000 and just order a GH4 so that I have the best of both worlds. Don't have $20k to spend on a camera so I think I'll do my best with what I've got.
    – OMGTV
    Commented Apr 8, 2015 at 15:54
  • That's probably a good strategy. DSLRs are great when you have controlled conditions - for interviews for example, they can make even a fairly drab setting look great, but they're a PITA for run - 'n - gun, when a proper video camera will be much more useful.
    – stib
    Commented Apr 9, 2015 at 1:20

Actually, 2/3" sensors have been, and still are used for television all over the world. Even now that recently there has been an increase in larger sensor camera's being used for TV production, by far most factual tv shows are produces with 2/3" camera's.

What "quality" is acceptable for broadcast is highly dependant on what country you live in. Alltough in my country these specs don't seem to important, here, in Europe, you will need:

  • 50 Mbit/s 4:2:2 minimum for inter-frame codecs
  • 100 Mbit/s 4:2:2 minimum for intra-frame codecs
  • A lot more read the specifications

Altough I've seen for video Journalism other specifications apply (see link below).
You will notice that most DSLR's don't pass these specification, especially not when you take audio into consideration.

Your camera, however, only lacks a little in the bandwith (mentioned above) this is easily solved with an external recorder. (Atomos, Blackmagic Design, Convergent Design)

In my personal experience, broadcasters would LOVE a little less depth of field, however they HATE footage that is out of focus or has bad audio.
I would happily take your camera out and sell the footage to a broadcaster.
(That is, if you have a good story)

EBU broadcast Specifications


The size of a 1/2.3" sensor is 6.17 x 4.55 mm . A 2/3" sensor is 8.8 x 6.6 mm (about double the area). Many broadcast cameras use 3 - 2/3" sensors. Many consumer camcorders and some Gopro models use tiny 1/2.8 or 1/3.2" sensors.

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